THE Australian Olympic team went into the Rio Olympics expecting to bring back a chest full of medals.
This had been fuelled in the media and by the Australia Olympic Committee predicting we would win 37 medals, including 13 gold. This target was later pushed out to 16 gold. The main aim was to do better than the shocking campaign at the London Games.
In four years, Australia has spent $800 million on these elite sportsmen and women. The reality in Rio is we won 29 medals – only 8 of them gold.
John Coates, boss of the AOC, says Australia cannot justify this elevated level of spending. So the big question is what went wrong?
Are our athletes feeling the pressure of a demanding and expecting nation? Are our athletes peaking at the wrong time?
Great Britain finished second on the medal table behind America and in front of the world powerhouse China with 67 medals, 27 gold – a tremendous performance from our former colonial masters.
A tongue-in-cheek solution could be a possibility. United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union; Scotland says it will hold a referendum next year to leave the United Kingdom and ask for membership of the European Union.
This could be an opening for Australian athletics.
Australia could apply to join the United Kingdom and then take the place of Scotland in the Great Britain team.
In one stroke we would solve our poor showing at the Olympics and we would be back into the arms of our “Mother Country”.